Zote has long been a laundry staple in many households in Mexico. It is a laundry soap bar made from natural ingredients like tallow (animal fat), coconut oil and citronella. It also contains an optical brightener ingredient which bleaches clothing without fading or harming color. The Zote laundry bar was primarily used to wash clothing by hand, particularly in rural Mexican areas where washing machines were not available. Today, Zote is still popular for laundering clothes due to its cleaning properties and gentleness on delicate fabrics. You can use it in a variety of laundering situations.
Hand wash delicate clothing with Zote. Fill a sink with warm water and soak the item of clothing. Scrub the garment with a bar of Zote until foam starts to form. Rinse the garment with water until soap disappears. Hang your clothing to dry.
Use a bar of Zote to pre-treat stains before laundering. Rub Zote on soiled areas of the clothing, particularly ring around the collar and armpit stains. Launder as usual in your washing machine.
Mix your own liquid detergent with Zote. Bring three cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. You should then remove it from heat. Grate a bar of Zote into the hot water and stir until dissolved. Fill a separate large storage container with three gallons of hot water. Pour in the dissolved Zote bar. Add one cup of Borax and one cup of baking soda and stir until all ingredients are dissolved. Launder clothes as usual in a washing machine with three-fourths to one cup of the Zote liquid detergent.
Create powdered detergent with Zote. Grate one cup of Zote into a small storage container. Add one-half cup of borax and one-half cup soda ash; mix them together. For a regular load of laundry, add a heaping tablespoon of the powdered detergent into the washing machine. For large loads or heavily stained items, use two heaping tablespoons.
Produce extra soft towels and sheets with Zote. Place a small chunk of Zote inside a sock or knee-high stocking and tie-off the end. Place it inside your washing machine during the last wash cycle. Once the washing machine finishes its rinse and spin cycle, dry towels and sheets as usual.